Chairman Previews Broadband Privacy NPRM

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a fact sheet describing the proposed broadband privacy rules in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking currently circulating with the full Commission before being put to a vote at the March 31 open meeting.  The fact sheet highlights a number of proposed rules and obligations to be imposed on broadband Internet access service providers, including (a) an express duty to protect broadband customer information; (b) rules distinguishing when customer consent is required versus when consent is inherent; and (c) data breach notification requirements. The document also clarifies jurisdictional limitations of the proposed rules (e.g., areas where the Federal Trade Commission or law enforcement agencies have authority) and areas that the proposed rules would not regulate (e.g., other types of services offered by a broadband provider).  The proposed rules are expected to serve as a broadband-specific companion to the current voice-centric customer privacy rules in Section 222 of the FCC’s rules.

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